Starowicz currently heads the documentary unit at CBC television, a position he's held since 1992, and through that role he has been the guiding mind behind some of the most audacious and memorable series that the public broadcaster has produced. To pick two examples, he was the tour of force behind the incredibly ambitious 32-part historical series Canada: A People's History as well as the Greatest Canadian contest which in 2004 saw Tommy Douglas named as the 'Greatest Canadian' by viewers across the country.
"Every single generation is going to have to re-fight the battle for public broadcasting... and it's our time.
From there he went on to help create, and then produce, the legendary radio program Sunday Morning, in which he was the guiding light for a young producer named Stuart McLean ("He demanded excellence", McLean recalls of his time at Sunday morning working with Starowicz). And then in the early 1980's, Starowicz moved to television, where he steered a major revamping of the broadcaster's nightly news lineup, and oversaw the creation of the celebrated news magazine program The Journal.
Behind it all Starowicz is, as you'll hear in the interview, extremely passionate about the history, philosophy and importance of public broadcasting and the role that it serves in Canadian society.
Over the summer I sat down with Mark Starowicz in a room high up inside the CBC Broadcast Centre in Toronto, to ask him about his early interest in the media, his beginnings with CBC radio, as well as to get his thoughts on the past, present, and future of public broadcasting in this country. As he says in the interview, quoting Graham Spry who is largely considered the founder of Canadian public broadcasting "Every single generation is going to have to re-fight the battle for public broadcasting in this country... and it's our time."